University of British Columbia (Alana)

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    By Alana
    Sep 25, '06 12:54 AM EST

    The first studio project was 'Garmenture': a quick two-week exploration of materials in relation to the body. I ended up manufacturing a series of wiggly, jiggly high-heeled shoes that was meant to titilate and mutate one's walk. The first pair was made out of low-density foam, the second pair: polyurethane, and the third: jello (and a lot of gelatine!).


    Unfortunetly, I wasn't able to get the mold poured untill monday because the fine-art workshop where I was getting access and help producing a silicone mold wasn't open last weekend. That left one shot, and twenty-four hours for each pair of shoes. Luckily, there were no major screw ups, just smaller, annoying learning mistakes.

    The silicone mold with the jello jigglers setting inside.


    The polyurethane 2020 had a beautiful golden glow. It looked like honey. mmmmmmmmm.




    Jello (and marshmellow souls)


    If anybody is interested in creating a shoe (or a whatever) out of jello, the ratio that I used was one part jello, one part gelatine to two parts water. And make sure that the water is boiling hot. This recipe sets fast, and doesn't taste very good. I know because I took a chomp of one at the evening fashion show/ garmenture debut.

    Here's my friend Annie working those golden globes.


    The low density foam shoes were the easiest to make. But you have to move fast on mixing and pouring that foam! The reaction time is incredibly fast.



    • Arnaud M.

      I like your pictures.
      Why high-heel shoes, rather than anything else?

      Sep 25, 06 6:20 am  · 

      2 of my favorite things - shoes and architecture. Brilliant...

      great idea for a project (kudos to your critic) and a titilating interpretation by you. I want to touch the jello shoes and eat the ploy-honey shoes. great images too.

      Sep 25, 06 9:25 am  · 

      fascinating--so how did they work?? or walk, I mean!

      Sep 25, 06 12:47 pm  · 

      oops. that's poly-honey. damn.

      myriam, my guess is they don't walk, judging by the pictures, and using a bit of common sense ;-)

      or, if you're just joking:
      ahahahahhaaa. so clever, you nose-less mad woman!

      Sep 25, 06 2:30 pm  · 

      sadly, sometimes i lack in common sense. i know the jellos smoosh to pieces, but how do the foam and polyeurethane work? i know next to nil about these materials, eek!

      Sep 25, 06 2:59 pm  · 

      The original idea was to make three different styles of shoes with the high heels being jello stilletos. I wanted a presentation that was humourous, surprising, and that went against the requirements of architecture: that the material must support the load. I wanted to experiment with what could happen if a foundation was manufactured for the body that was designed to fail.

      I didn't have enough time (or money) to construct three different pairs of molds and so I chose a shoe that could fail in different ways depending on the material. The sole was of a medium thickness, with the heel bent back. Would the heel break off, collapse down or fold under?
      I did walk in all three shoes. The foam ones were the most comfortable and so light! Those shoes just collapse straight down on the heel, while the polyurethane shoes were heavier, a bit sticky and very jiggly. The jello ones didn't break at all. That was the original idea, however, I went hard on the gelatine and they ended up being just as strong as the polyurethane shoes. If I had had the time to make them again I would have taken out the marshmellows, as those sort of disintegrated and got mushy.
      Originally I explored the idea of making the high heels out of silicone but I didn't like the milky colour of the set substance. However, I did end up making the mold out of silicone, and it did this role perfectly.

      Thanks for the comments <--- my favorite part about having a blog on archinect.

      Sep 25, 06 3:57 pm  · 

      Excellant, who was the prof and guest critic??? I went to UBC many years back and I know a few women who would have died for a project like that.

      Good to see that somebody sees the light side of design and not the just the morbid, and I don't mean to say that that i take your project lightly as I think you have shown great clarity in your thought. I think hte clariyt of the idea is beter as one pair of shoes done three ways as opposed to three different styles done three different ways

      Sep 25, 06 4:39 pm  · 

      FASCINATING and FUN! You are my new favorite blogger!! Keep up the good work!! (And show us more shoe porn!!!!)

      Sep 25, 06 5:17 pm  · 

      yes, shoe porn is always welcome.
      I agree w/ whistler - your project is clear, and clever to boot...

      ok. i'm done.

      Sep 25, 06 5:48 pm  · 
      David Zeibin

      The garmenture project has been the very first UBC studio project in the first-year foundation studio for four years running now. (It's always better when one looks back; not always as captivating at the time.) Its specific premise has changed from year-to-year, but at base it poses the very basic question of the body in some space, some intimate environment. (Foundation studio is co-taught by 3-4 rotating design faculty.)

      Anyhow, this looks like a great project: intriguing hypothesis, excellent craftsmanship, and sexy presentation.

      And as the owner of a very-neglected (dead?) UBC archinect blog, I'm glad to to see someone hitting it. Very nice

      Nov 12, 06 6:30 am  · 

      well - only about 10 months late, but i figured better late than never.

      from a 2004 garmenture grad, i'm very impressed by your creation. i'm sure the crits just "ate it up"...haha. anyhow, good luck with the rest of the program...

      May 15, 07 5:09 pm  · 

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